In 1924 Ernst Friedrich published his book “War against War!” in Berlin.
He later opened a museum for the horrors of the Great War, closed by the Nazis in 1931.
Friedrich, a pacifist, anarchist and conscientious objector, was clearly against capitalism, the cause, in his opinion, of all wars. But regardless of his political position, we believe the civil courage he showed by placing the true, raw, unique and indisputable result of the war in front of the eyes of the world has an absolute value.
The images speak for themselves. His brief comments leave no room for interpretations: there is only one single truth to the war.
You will have no doubt about it when you see this collection of old, discoloured and fading images.
These are images usually kept hidden, things that many do not wish to see, that cause fear or disgust on many. These images are reality: war is all this. All around you there was once massacre and suffering.
Such suffering that its traces are still visible and tangible.
The men of 1914-1918 are no more: what remain are the mountains, exploded, drilled, dug into, fought against, hated and loved.
I, mistakenly defined “German” instead of simply “human”, make an appeal to the glacial lands of the North, to Africa, to America, to Asia and to all of Europe, and I yell these words to all those who can hear me: humanity and love. Just like an Australian cries and suffers, laughs and is happy, you, too, brother, Inuit or African or Chinese or whatever you are, and I, we all cry and suffer in the same manner, we all laugh with joy and are happy.
All human beings rejoice and suffer in the same way, so let us all fight together against war, a monstrous enemy.
Let us protest together and cry together against this cursed massacre of which we are all equally guilty. But we must also hope for a dawn of peace and freedom: long live the country of all countries, the country of humankind!
Ernst Friedrich’s volume, “War against War!”
(original title: Krieg dem Krige!)
was published by Oscar Mondadori, 2004
The images you will see show, objectively and inexorably, the reality of war, without filters or rhetoric. Friedrich did not intend to show war images that were somehow filtered, but images of the war, sometimes even with violence, with their uncomfortable and censured truth, that of ten million dead by hunger, strains, grenades, mines, bombs and execution; that of soldiers thrown in common graves, of soldiers used as cannon fodder, mutilated, ruined, of malnourished civilians, of raped women...
Through this gallery, words reacquire their most authentic, truthful, terrible meaning, so we never forget what war is like, regardless of all lies, hypocrisy, prejudice or conviction.
His Majesty the Emperor is glad to grant the Order of Merit (for extraordinary merit) to our distinguished air force hero... for his seventh aerial victory
If your men are too weak, you can do it!
Show that your love for your men is stronger than all calls to arms!
Do not let your men go to the front!
Do not decorate their rifles with flowers!
Hang your arms around your husbands’ necks and do not let them leave, not even when the recruitment postcard arrives!
Tear apart rail tracks, thrown yourselves in front of locomotives!
You, women, must succeed,
if your men are too weak!
WOMEN OF ALL THE WORLD, UNITE!
late July 1924
In the summer, the “War against War!” high-altitude section can be visited in a spectacular cave in the Italian post located in Sasso di Costabella, Alta Via Bepi Zac - Bruno Federspiel, Creste di Costabella, San Pellegrino Pass.
The post can be reached by climbing steep wooden steps, using suitable equipment (rope and carabiners) and good climbing skills.
Territory chaperones and volunteers of the “Sul Fronte dei Ricordi” association are available for guided tours in absolute safety.